The Stax Thread III
Oct 26, 2015 at 7:18 AM Post #6,841 of 25,410
Actually I put on the 007A (forgot the amp driving it) very briefly and it sounded quite dark (not what I remember from my SZ3) and totally underpowered (slow).
@anakchan has spent more time checking out the noew stax gear so I think you can trust his impressions more than mine... His issue now is probably recovering from the outings with @jude, @currawong et al lol :).

Arnaud
 
Oct 26, 2015 at 3:56 PM Post #6,842 of 25,410
Actually I put on the 007A (forgot the amp driving it) very briefly and it sounded quite dark (not what I remember from my SZ3) and totally underpowered (slow).
@anakchan has spent more time checking out the noew stax gear so I think you can trust his impressions more than mine... His issue now is probably recovering from the outings with @jude, @currawong et al lol :).

Arnaud

 
Ah. But I just meant in the comparisons you wrote.
 
(It seemed that he misinterpreted "007t2" as "SR-007MK2" instead of the SRM-007tII amp.)
 
Oct 26, 2015 at 4:22 PM Post #6,843 of 25,410
Quick impressions update.
I posted earlier about my sr-002 being better in the mid range than my HD800s, I now know why.
 
When I first got my 009s, I did some A/B listening between them and my 800s, I didn't notice any amazingly crazy differences. I think this was because I didn't have time to listen to the 009s, quick A/B isn't the best etc....
 
I shelved the 800s for a full month, and hadn't listened to them once.
I plugged them back in, and my mind was metaphorically blown.
 
It was like putting a blanket between my ears and the headphones. The 800s were garbled, instruments getting lost, sounds smashed together, shallow soundstage, uncontrolled bass.
I can't even believe it, and still have reeling from the results. The 800s that I praised, sound so bad.
 
I can only chalk this up to my WA7 amp. It just must be bad. I can't readily believe the 800s are that much worse then the 009s.
 
It makes sense too, because I bought a kgsshv-carbon for my 009s. That amp has zero comparison between the WA7, and I'm not talking about one being a dynamic amp vs estat.
The Carbon must be leagues ahead. From the comparisons I've read, with a comparable amp, for example this, I bet it would be a fair fight.
 
It's funny, because I remember getting the WA7 for my 800s, and how amazing they were versus driving them off my FiiO E12. I thought it was probably 90% of what the 800s could do, guess I was wrong. Can't wait for a Minneapolis head-fi meet so I can hear the 800s on something that gives them justice.
 
As of right now, the difference is as big, as listening to my friends HD598 vs HD800s, to the HD800s vs SR-009s. I'm not hyperbolizing that. It's literally the difference between listening to headphone, and listening to ear speakers, I guess there's a reason they're called that.
 
Oct 26, 2015 at 5:14 PM Post #6,844 of 25,410
  Quick impressions update.
I posted earlier about my sr-002 being better in the mid range than my HD800s, I now know why.
 
When I first got my 009s, I did some A/B listening between them and my 800s, I didn't notice any amazingly crazy differences. I think this was because I didn't have time to listen to the 009s, quick A/B isn't the best etc....
 
I shelved the 800s for a full month, and hadn't listened to them once.
I plugged them back in, and my mind was metaphorically blown.
 
It was like putting a blanket between my ears and the headphones. The 800s were garbled, instruments getting lost, sounds smashed together, shallow soundstage, uncontrolled bass.
I can't even believe it, and still have reeling from the results. The 800s that I praised, sound so bad.
 
I can only chalk this up to my WA7 amp. It just must be bad. I can't readily believe the 800s are that much worse then the 009s.
 
It makes sense too, because I bought a kgsshv-carbon for my 009s. That amp has zero comparison between the WA7, and I'm not talking about one being a dynamic amp vs estat.
The Carbon must be leagues ahead. From the comparisons I've read, with a comparable amp, for example this, I bet it would be a fair fight.
 
It's funny, because I remember getting the WA7 for my 800s, and how amazing they were versus driving them off my FiiO E12. I thought it was probably 90% of what the 800s could do, guess I was wrong. Can't wait for a Minneapolis head-fi meet so I can hear the 800s on something that gives them justice.
 
As of right now, the difference is as big, as listening to my friends HD598 vs HD800s, to the HD800s vs SR-009s. I'm not hyperbolizing that. It's literally the difference between listening to headphone, and listening to ear speakers, I guess there's a reason they're called that.

No doubt but even with the best dynamic amplifier the HD800 may still fall a little short of measuring up to the SR-009.  The 009 is just a better headphones IMO.  The HD800 still have bigger soundstage however, but the precision is better on the SR009.
 
Oct 26, 2015 at 7:11 PM Post #6,845 of 25,410
The best amp I've heard the HD 800 with is the Woo Audio WA22 in balanced configuration, and it sounds great!  For a dynamic headphone.  The SR-009 paired with the BHSE still slaughters it in just about every aspect in my opinion, except for sound stage width and imaging.  
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 1:11 AM Post #6,848 of 25,410
  If you don't mind me asking, why do you say this and what stats are you using and what dynamics did you return to that were eye opening?
Thanks.

I couldn't guess what n3rdling means, but personally after listening to my SR-507s for a while, going back to my Grado SR-325s for a spell can be kind of refreshing. The Grados have such a warm, lovely midrange... something about them is a somewhat more intimate with some music than my Stax's are to me... Not to say that the Stax are lacking in the mids (or in any way for that matter
wink.gif
) they just feel more clinical and sterile; I'd have to do some more careful listening between the two to be more specific. 
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 2:21 AM Post #6,849 of 25,410
I can guess what  n3rdling means.  He means that after stats, all dynamic headphones sound broken lol.
 
But, Taizo, I agree with you, too.  Stats can be kind of . . . .sterile.  Cold.  I want some meat back.
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 8:28 AM Post #6,850 of 25,410
  I couldn't guess what n3rdling means, but personally after listening to my SR-507s for a while, going back to my Grado SR-325s for a spell can be kind of refreshing. The Grados have such a warm, lovely midrange... something about them is a somewhat more intimate with some music than my Stax's are to me... Not to say that the Stax are lacking in the mids (or in any way for that matter
wink.gif
) they just feel more clinical and sterile; I'd have to do some more careful listening between the two to be more specific. 

  I can guess what  n3rdling means.  He means that after stats, all dynamic headphones sound broken lol.
But, Taizo, I agree with you, too.  Stats can be kind of . . . .sterile.  Cold.  I want some meat back.

Thanks guys.
Thats doesn't sound too good to me being I love the Grado sound-signature and they are much less expensive than the SR-009.
Well, I'm waiting for a KGSSHV to arrive so I could listen for myself.
beerchug.gif

 
Oct 27, 2015 at 9:00 AM Post #6,851 of 25,410
 
But, Taizo, I agree with you, too.  Stats can be kind of . . . .sterile.  Cold.  I want some meat back.

 
Or rather, Stax or just Stax Lambdas can be rather sterile.  I've never seen anyone call the Orpheus sterile.  I wouldn't call the SR-007 or SR-009 sterile, although I could see someone who is used to Audeze warmth for example call the SR-009 that.
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 12:48 PM Post #6,852 of 25,410
   
Or rather, Stax or just Stax Lambdas can be rather sterile.  I've never seen anyone call the Orpheus sterile.  I wouldn't call the SR-007 or SR-009 sterile, although I could see someone who is used to Audeze warmth for example call the SR-009 that.

This is key. The first few days I listened to my 009s, I thought they were more clinical and sterile then my 800s. What it actually was, is that the 009s removed the veiled sound I'd come accustomed to with my 800+wa7 setup. Even more than that, while removing the veil, it also reduced the harshness of treble.
 
I can truly appreciate unadulterated sound, with that said, everyone has preferences. Just because a song is suppose to sound one way, doesn't mean everybody's going to like it like that.
I believe the 009s are the closest you can get (with headphones) to getting a non-colored sound of music.
 
If you want color in your music, that's fine. I just don't see at as an advantage over the 009s, I see it as a preference.
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM Post #6,853 of 25,410
  This is key. The first few days I listened to my 009s, I thought they were more clinical and sterile then my 800s. What it actually was, is that the 009s removed the veiled sound I'd come accustomed to with my 800+wa7 setup. Even more than that, while removing the veil, it also reduced the harshness of treble.
 
I can truly appreciate unadulterated sound, with that said, everyone has preferences. Just because a song is suppose to sound one way, doesn't mean everybody's going to like it like that.
I believe the 009s are the closest you can get (with headphones) to getting a non-colored sound of music.
 
If you want color in your music, that's fine. I just don't see at as an advantage over the 009s, I see it as a preference.

 
I agree 100%.  The SR-009 is the most technically correct and realistic sound I've heard from a headphone, but that's just not what everyone wants.  I know it's what I want though!  Speaking of sterile sounding headphones, the HD 800 on a neutral solid state amp certainly strikes me as sterile and boring.  It needs a warm tube amp to shine in my opinion.  I heard a similar veil when swapping between the HD 800 and SR-009 at an audition.  I relate the veil to transparency; the SR-009 (and even SR-007) is just so much more clear.
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 1:00 PM Post #6,854 of 25,410
I think the 009 is neutral, but not sterile.
Sterile in my vocabulary means somewhat thinner than neutral, both in mids and bass. The HD800 can be sterile at times. The K812 is not. The 009 is not. 
Dry for me means no extra warmth in the sound, but otherwise neutral, and may be a good thing.
My adjective ranking about tonality and the amplitudes of Fourier transform in general (or should I say harmonic composition) is something like this:
sterile < dry < neutral < musical < warm < dark.
 
Ethereal vs meaty are expressing an orthogonal property that can be characterized by the density distribution of the Fourier transform components, if that makes sense, or should I say harmonic structure.
 
Another property is time domain behavior, waterfall if you like. Dry-neutral sound tends to be also with fast decay, another good thing.
 
It is interesting that while I give all credit to neutral sound, I like headphones slightly on the musical and fleshy side, something that probably has to do with the Fletcher-Munson curve so I am likely not alone.
 
BTW the 009 subjectively seems to have a "lit up" midrange in the 4-6 kHz region, at least compared to most headphones (well, likely the other way around, most headphones have a dip there). If I EQ that down (for experiment, since I hate EQ because it smears things), the 009 sounds more meaty and musical. I could do that also with an earpad mod, but after all left the 009 in original form, it is perfectly voiced. I had similar experience with the AKG 601, which was a very linear and neutral performer, but it sounded dry, even sterile. It is a bit tricky since the equal loudness curves across dynamic range make it clear that no headphone can be tuned perfectly for all loudness levels. However, it is enough to be good enough here. Our brain comes to help, with personal variable compensation capabilities, and I think that is why some people prefer e.g. the 007 over the 009, despite the 007's obvious midrange dip. I for example have higher than normal sensitivity to midrange dynamics, making me sensitive to headphones which sound "lit up" like the 009.
 
The 507 is dry and ethereal, but its midbass bump and 30 Hz bump makes it out of sterile zone. However, it sounds a bit harder in the upper mids and treble than the 007 and the 009. Tonally it is closer to the 009, but it is not neutral. It has a slight coloration in the upper mids which makes the 007 more relaxed sounding. The HD800 is both more dry and more neutral than the 507, otherwise they sound very similar, although the 507 is more ethereal.
 
The 007 has a somewhat velvety, caramel, sepia, bloomy tone, both transparent and meaty e.g. on saxophone and wind instruments, and also on violin, more so than the dynamic headphones like Grado, HD800, or then even the 009. Funny thing that my modded 007 sound more meaty and more dynamic than my modded TH900 (down to about 30 Hz where the TH900 takes the lead), which is more meaty and more dynamic than the Grado RS1 and the HD800 at the expense of being too colored. 
The 007 is colored when compared to the 009, but not more so than a conrad johnson tube amp vs an Audio Research tube amp, just enough to make more things sound musical.
The 009 is unforgiving both to equipment and recording.
 
The main quality of my modded 007 is to make instruments sound wonderfully real. I melt when I hear my 007 play the saxophone or double bass or cello or violin, and the percussion hit fast, hard, deep and clean, with great cymbal dynamics, decay and resolution. The 009 is tonally more correct, but the modded 007 feels dynamically better and also less dry and ethereal (the stock 007 IMO doesn't even play in the same league as the 009 in making instruments real). The 007 changes so much with ear pads, pad fillings and headband adjustment that I just hate it. The 009 is much more consistent, and not much to tune there. But the 007 is perfectly good for metal and electronica too, for which the 009 is a bit dry in the bass.
 
By n3rdling's @arnaud's description, the L700 may hit a perfect balance. I am very curious to try it against my modded 007. Since I don't recommend the modded 007 to normal people (modded 009 pads too shallow to be comfortable for most people, but fortunately it is borderline with my ear lobes), it may be that the LS700 checks most musical goodies for most people. However, in general, the Lambdas are not more comfortable than my modded 007, so it comes down to sound anyway.
 
I just wonder when the 009 update will come - perhaps next year? Stax definitely seems to know what they are doing, as things seem to go the right direction, and price didn't change.
Will it be called the Omega 900? :)
 
Oct 27, 2015 at 1:14 PM Post #6,855 of 25,410
  I think the 009 is neutral, but not sterile.
Sterile in my vocabulary means somewhat thinner than neutral, both in mids and bass. The HD800 can be sterile at times. The K812 is not. The 009 is not. 
Dry for me means no extra warmth in the sound, but otherwise neutral, and may be a good thing.

 
This sounds right to me.
 

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